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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Why homophobia must end.

The current discrimination towards the gay community around most parts of the world is a disgusting and hateful form of intolerance. From the execution of two Iranian gays 8 years ago, to the murders of Lawrence King & Matthew Shepard and the creation of Proposition 8 in the US state of California, i have decided to speak out in defense of the gay community.

I am not gay. I am religious. I'm a Malaysian, and eventhough i'm a supporter of Barisan Nasional, i'm open minded and liberal. And I have something to say, both in my own defense and to the religious community that I am often thought to share offensive viewpoints with simply because I am a heterosexual, Muslim Malaysian.

I am suppose to be one of them; I was raised to be one of them. And, I have thought much about this issue. I am ashamed! I was taught to respect people who are different than I for whatever reason. I was taught that no one ever had the right to impose a religious belief upon another. That a mosque was meant to guide and teach you, but it could not, under any circumstances, coerce or impose its beliefs upon anyone. Not even my own religion has that right! I was raised to believe that the separation of church and state must never be bridged.

I was taught that the purpose of government was to establish ways for people to live together in peace. To make it possible for a wide variety of people with many different religions, customs, and beliefs to live and work together with respect for each other so that an economy could be established. That the state could never, ever, impose a religious belief unless the security and safety of that society and economy would clearly benefit.

We have here a group of people who have become an established segment of our community. A group of people who have the support of business as well as established religious organizations which support their rights, including the right to marry. Religious institutions which say they support gay marriage and wish to perform such ceremonies. Are we suppose to impose our religious beliefs upon them? If so, I don't want to hear any snivelling when another religion's beliefs are imposed upon yours. The separation of church and state must not be circumvented! Not even by vote, but most certainly not by a vote which is based upon religious beliefs which have no clear benefit to the state! Indeed, the state is harmed by this as all it does is cause misery and harm to a large minority segment of its own citizenry. This is the perversion!

Or, am I just suppose to ignore those people, those companies, those religious institutions? As if they don't count? I will not be a part of this!

My Form 5 History teacher taught me about separation of church and state. And she taught me that as a citizen, it was my duty as a Muslim to find ways to work with people who are different than I, independent of my religious beliefs (except that I, myself, must live by them) in a manner which is courteous, respectful, and promoted peace. As a citizen of Malaysia, I was to conduct myself in a way that best promoted the welfare of my state and federal government with respect toward all the citizens in it. We were to live our Malaysian beliefs ourselves, but we weren't suppose to shove those beliefs down another's throat, nor to coerce anyone into living them, nor to impose those beliefs on anyone! Shame on you!

They also taught me that Allah s.w.t. (God) made me, just the way I am. They told me that God loves me just the way I am. They told me that this was true of every single person in this world, even those who were different than I, even those who didn't believe in God at all. They told me that God is compassionate, merciful, and that all love comes from God. That He wanted us to do our best to be like Him. To try and do what He would want. To forgive others the way we want Him to forgive us. To not judge others. To love one another.

I don't see my mosque acting the way they told me to. I know homosexuality is a sin. I know what the Koran says. I'm missing something, clearly. But I have friends who are gay. They are good people and I will not condemn them. That's between them and God. I believe in a merciful God and I will trust Him to know what He's doing because He made them, too, just the way they are and I figure that's how He loves them.

I don't know why my religion is becoming one of intolerance and hate. Or being represented so. I don't know why gay people are having to bear this. I just know: I don't want to be a part of it. And I don't want people to think that just because I am a heterosexual Muslim, that I support what is being done to our gay community in any way at all. And I beg everyone, please reconsider what you are doing.

To the gay community: I am very ashamed. I am sorry from the bottom of my heart.

3 comments:

wellamaria said...

Hi! I stumbled by your blog and am I grateful :)

I'm working now in UAE, Abu Dhabi to be exact, under Islamic governance. Its a very interesting and challenging experience. Your religion intrigues me and I think that it's the most powerful religion in the world right now. So much so that, as my arab boss puts it, as long as there are muslims, there is always conflict.

Thank you very much for writing about this and owning up to it too. In some parts of the world, what you just said could kill. You make me reconsider yet again my prejudices and the stereotypes one can so easily put on people :)

MVP said...

ditto.
i am born muslim.
but literally, non believer.

i have been living with
many muslims and I listen
to their views.

when it comes to religion,
they are awfully biased.
discriminate. segregate.

Few of them are liberal though.
But I believe muslims in Malaysia
are far more strict and foolish
when it comes to islam.

Honest opinion.

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